During the current COVID-19 Pandemic, NE-EHDI will continue to follow our current follow-up process of contacting families and medical professionals via e-mail, regular mail, secure e-fax, or phone. We will strive to meet the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH) 1-3-6 recommendations to complete the hearing screen by 1 month of age, to complete the audiologic diagnostic evaluation by 3 months of age, and complete enrollment into early intervention by 6 months of age. However, we understand that there may be delays in the follow-up process during this uncertain time, and we will work with families and professionals to accommodate any changes due to limited access to care. Learn more about Newborn Screening and COVID-19.
Some hospitals are wondering how to handle newborn hearing screening for newborns who are being treated as PUI (Patient Under Investigation) while inpatient, and if it is safe to screen the baby with hospital equipment. Due to the constantly changing circumstances with the pandemic, NE-EHDI recommends that each hospital work directly with their Infection Control Team to determine whether it is safe to conduct hearing screenings. We ask that you stress the importance of following up on the hearing screening as soon as it is safely possible, so extra patient education is critical to ensure that parents understand that the newborn hearing screening is still an essential screening for their baby's well-being.
How to keep you, your baby, and your provider safe during COVID-19
AAP Guidance on Newborn Hearing Screening during COVID-19
NCHAM information about COVID-19
COVID-19 Scripts for Screeners
COVID-19 Handouts for Parents
Which facemasks are best for hearing?
The Nebraska Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program develops, promotes, and supports systems to ensure all newborns in Nebraska receive hearing screenings, family-centered evaluations, and early intervention as appropriate.
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Childhood deafness is one of the most common birth conditions in the United States. Newborn hearing screening is the first step in the early hearing detection and intervention process.
On average, 3/1,000 babies born will have some form of hearing loss. Before universal newborn hearing screening became the standard of care, children born deaf or hard of hearing were not identified until 2-1/2 to 3 years of age.
When left undetected in infants and young children, deafness will impair a child's ability to develop normal speech and language skills, stay on track academically with their hearing peers, and achieve on-time social and emotional milestones.
To ensure that newborns and infants identified as deaf or hard of hearing begin receiving appropriate and timely high-quality services, the Nebraska Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (NE-EHDI) Program has developed goals focusing on newborn hearing screening, diagnostic evaluations, early intervention, medical home, family support, periodic hearing screenings, professional development, program development, EHDI promotion, and data systems.
For more information about the Nebraska Infant Hearing Act, visit infanthearing.org.
Congenital Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, is a common viral infection, and the leading non-genetic cause of hearing loss in infants born in the United States. Every pregnant woman is at risk of acquiring CMV, but only 9% of women know about it. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states,
“Women may be able to lessen their risk of getting CMV by reducing contact with saliva and urine from babies and young children. Some ways to do this are by not sharing food and utensils with babies and young children, and washing hands after changing diapers. These actions can't eliminate your
risk of getting CMV but may lessen your
chances of getting it". Visit the National CMV Foundation website to learn more about CMV, along with information on prevention. You can also order educational materials at no cost from the EHDI order form.
Early detection and early intervention save money!
Nebraska Early Development Network (EDN) provides Early Intervention (EI) services for families with children birth to age three with developmental delays and/or health care needs and connects families to needed services. EI is an individualized program of services and supports based on the needs of the individual family.
EI is important because research shows that the first three years are the most important time for learning in a child's life. Providing developmental supports and services early improves a child's ability to develop and learn. It may also prevent or decrease the need for special education services later on. The goal of early intervention in Nebraska is to "open a window of opportunity" for families to help their children with special needs develop to their full potential.
Families Page of the EDN website for more information about EI services in Nebraska.
An Advisory Committee, comprised of stakeholders representing many disciplines and perspectives, has been active in
providing leadership since the implementation of the Infant Hearing Act of 2000. The Advisory Committee meets twice a year and meetings are open to the public.
The purpose of the NE-EHDI Advisory Committee is to provide direction and guidance to the NE-EHDI Program regarding the newborn hearing screening system. Specific Advisory Committee activities include, but are not limited to, the following:
The membership of the Advisory Committee is culturally and geographically representative of stakeholders with an interest in and concern for newborn hearing screening. The Advisory Committee consists of no more than 20 voting members and the NE-EHDI Program Manager who is a non-voting member.
Past Meeting Minutes & PowerPoints:
2021 & 2022 Meeting Dates & Locations: (meetings are posted on the
Public Meeting Calendar)
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number H61MC00065, Universal Newborn Hearing Screening, $235,000 total award amount. No nongovernmental sources support the program. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.
This project is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under Cooperative Agreement Number, 2 NUR3DD000797-06-00, award amount of $150,000. The NE-EHDI Program is 100% financed with Federal money and no funding is received by nongovernmental sources. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.